I learned about Tea Horse a few years ago at the Toronto Tea Festival. One of the main ingredients featured by the Indigenous brand is Wild Rice or Manoomin in Ojibwe. I’ve enjoyed the two blends so far and wanted to try more!
Description: “Roasted wild rice creates a smooth and creamy toasted chestnut flavoured tisane”
Instructions: Rolling boil | 1 cup | one teaspoon | infuse for 5 minutes or longer
Review: In the past, I’ve tasted Tea Horse’s Manoomin Cha, which is a spin on Genmaicha, a Japanese roasted tea with rice, and Manoomin Maple Tea which is a collaboration with DAVIDsTEA. I was sharing the latter with my colleague and she looked into the brand and found it sold at a local Indigenous shop, so she picked up some of their blends for me!
Since I already had two Tea Horse blends with Manoomin, I was curious how the roasted wild rice would taste like it on its own. As I’ve enjoyed roasted teas/tisanes in the past like Genmaicha and roasted buckwheat tea, this tisane sounded right up my alley!
One thing I enjoy about tasting new tea/tisanes is learning about the ingredients and the history of tea or tisane! For example, on the Tea Horse’s website, it states that “Wild Rice (Ojibwe: Manoomin, the “good seed”) is the seed of an aquatic grass “zizania aquatica” that grows wild in the lakes and streams of parts of Canada and the United States and is the only grain indigenous to North America.” The dark shiny and smooth brown rice was cut into small segments with some puffed up and the tisane has a strong warm toasted smell.
The instructions on the package for the roasted wild rice was to infuse the tisane for “5 minutes, or longer.” I initially began with 5 minutes and ramped up to 10 minutes which brought out the nutty/roasted qualities. While it was double the time, but worth the wait!
The liquor was a pale yellow-green colour and smelled slightly roasted and like cooked brown rice. As expected, it tasted like the roasted rice in Genmaicha – it was burnt caramel, toasted, nutty/chesnuts, grains, and woody. The end of the sip left the back of the throat drying. When the liquor was cooled, the taste was sweeter and nuttier and reminded me of maple or honey water.
The infused roasted wild rice looked very similar to when dry and is was no surprise that it smelled like cooked rice from the bottom of a pan or rice cooker – like grains, barley, a bit caramelized, nutty, and sweet.
Overall, I enjoyed this tisane. I liked that it was nutty and roasted, which felt comforting, warming, and refreshing. I also liked that you can’t seem to ‘over brew’ this. This is a nice caffeine-free alternative if you are craving roasted or nutty tea, but it is nighttime. Looking forward to trying more roasted wild rice tisane blends in the future (4/5 rating)!